Investigation of Plasma Exhaust Profile Manipulation Using Magnetic Fields

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-2048

Published:
  • 2017-09-19
Abstract:
This paper investigates the effect of various magnetic field configurations on an ionized exhaust plume operating under near vacuum conditions. The purpose of this investigation is to determine if deploying a toroidal magnetic field around an ionized exhaust plume can alter the exhaust profile. The test apparatus utilizes a series of twelve N52 grade neodymium magnets mounted on a steel toroid. The design is proposed as a low-cost alternative to toroidal electromagnets. Five different apparatus configurations were tested in this experiment. Each test was documented using 12 sets of photographs taken from a fixed position with respect to the flow. Photographs were taken after the arc jet had run for 10, 20, and 30 seconds. Data from each configuration was compiled using image processing and compared with data from other configurations at corresponding time periods. Two configurations were run as control tests without any magnetic interference. The control tests were run with and without the steel toroid to determine if deploying a toroidal structure alone would have an effect on the exhaust flow independently of a magnetic field. Two data sets were collected with the north and south magnetic poles, respectively, facing the exhaust nozzle. The fifth data set involved orienting the magnets tangentially with respect to the exhaust flow. All magnets in each data set were oriented identically with respect to one another. The most effective configuration was determined by comparing data from each orientation in juxtaposition with other data sets.
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